Azibuye – The Occupation

Electric South

Azibuye – The Occupation is a stereo 360° documentary about Masello and Evan, two homeless black artist/activists who take up residence in a crumbling mansion, vacant for 20 years, in an affluent part of Johannesburg. They proclaim their illegal occupation to be an artistic and political act to address the ongoing racial inequalities in land ownership in South Africa. When it is revealed who the owner of the house is, the pair have a difficult decision to make. The redistribution of land in South Africa is one of the most pressing debates in our young democracy. Due to a number of colonial and apartheid laws, most infamously The Natives Land Act of 1913, black people were dispossessed of their ancestral land and excluded from owning property in South Africa. Filmmaker, Dylan Valley has documented identity through language, gentrification, and the stories of anti-apartheid activists and  believes that the land issue is central to the question of who we are as South Africans today, and how we deal with the ghosts of our past. The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and the National Arts Festival is proud to host the South African premiere.


Presented as part of Creativate Digital Arts Festival.


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  • Genre: 360° Film
  • Format: Video
  • Duration: 10min 51
  • Language: English
  • Ages: PG
  • Available From: June 25, 2020

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AZIBUYE – THE OCCUPATION from National Arts Festival on Vimeo.



Director: Dylan Valley
Producer: Caitlin Robinson
Executive Producers: Ingrid Kopp, Steven Markovitz
Featuring: Masello Motana, Evan Abrahamse, Selby Shiba
Editor: Stephen Abbott
3D Compositing, Grading & Online: Yoav Dagan S.A.G.E  TiNT Post

Supported by Ford Foundation


Dylan Valley is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who views film as a liberatory tool. He is currently a Lecturer at the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, and a PhD student in Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. In 2013 he received a Pulitzer Fellowship from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, where he received his Masters in Specialized Journalism. At USC he completed his thesis documentary on the groundbreaking web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae.

Dylan has directed various documentaries for South African and international television, namely the award winning Afrikaaps (2010), The Uprising of Hangberg (2010), Jumu’a (2011) and Incarcerated Knowledge (2013). He has also directed two documentary films for Al Jazeera’s Documentary Channel (via Hotspot Films, Cairo). Dylan also spent a year as a commissioning editor at the South African Broadcasting Corporation. He is on the editorial board of the critical Pan-African arts, politics and culture blog, Africa is a Country. He is currently an Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity (2019-2020) and a New Generation of Academics Program (nGAP)
recipient. His PhD research explores how the internet is shaping new forms of filmmaking on the African continent, and in the diaspora.